Every time you hear someone talk about launching their new app or product, they mention the need to validate their idea.
In the bootstrapped creator scene, we should never have to validate our idea. Idea validation is for those entering new markets or creating new markets. For those who are trying to change the future. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, or Steve Jobs.
As creators, we should almost always be entering existing markets with some amount of competition, as it's incredibly difficult to create a new market on our own.
While many people start out being deterred by any competition, we should actually be afraid of not having competition.
If you have an idea that has no competition, chances are very high that there’s no market for it, or it’s a business that’s going to take a lot more resources than that of a bootstrapped founder.
On the other hand, by entering a market with competition, you know that creating a viable business from that idea is doable. It's a proven system.
If you’re still worried about competition:
- How many products can you think of that stand alone in their market with no competition?
- How many Italian restaurants are in your town?
- How many scheduling apps are out there?
- How many time tracker apps exist?
- Does the world really need another to-do list app?
Yet, people continue to make viable businesses out of these every day.
What most of us need to do is not validate the idea itself, but validate that we know how to find and get the attention of our intended audience.
This is where the hard part is for most of us.
If you're a developer, you know you can build an invoicing application, and that's not an idea that needs to be validated. You know it's a valuable problem that is essential to businesses all over the world.
What you need to validate is that you can get in front of that audience and get their attention.
This is where the value is in having conversations with our target audience or trying to build a waiting list before building the application itself.
If you’ve failed to get users for your products in the past, I’d bet it wasn’t the creation of the product that was where you got stuck, rather, you got stuck when it came time to find and attract your target audience.
If so, you’re not alone. This is where most people go wrong, and it’s a hard lesson to learn.
But luckily I’m here to show you a better way, and hopefully, I’ve already shined some light on a better approach.
In fact, I’ve been working on a new project intended to help creators do just this - audience-first validation, so they can spend time building products that people want instead of building them and leaving them to rot.